A set of photos of Bikram Singh Majithia, a former cabinet minister in the Punjab Government, is viral on social media. The images are viral, claiming that he recently visited the Golden temple on new year's evening.
Majithia, the brother-in-law of former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal, is allegedly absconding after being booked on 20 December by the state Police under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act.
Majithia belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal party and is president of its Youth Wing, Youth Akali Dal, that shared his photos and captioned them in the Punjabi language. The caption reads in English, "Sacrifice is the time when it comes to your door."
The photos are widespread on social media and further amplified by several Indian journalists and media outlets with the same narration.
Bikram Singh Majithia recently visited the Golden temple on new year's evening
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it false. The viral photos are a year old, were shot last year in January 2021, when Bikram Singh Majithia visited the Golden Temple.
We conducted a Google reverse image search of the viral photos, leading us to identical visuals posted a year back in 2021.
We found similar-looking photos posted on the verified official Facebook page of Shiromani Akali Dal Majitha Constituency on 1 January 2021. The images were captioned in the Punjabi language. The caption reads in English, " Shiromani Akali Dal's General Secretary and former Cabinet Minister S. Bikram Singh Majithia today bowed down to the feet of Dhan Dhan Sahib Shri Guru Ramdas Ji at Shri Darbar Sahib Amritsar Sahib! Congratulated all the Sangat on the new year and prayed to Waheguru to bless the Sangat with good health and prosperity!"
Some media outlets covered Majithia's visit to the Golden temple and carried identical visuals back then.
The Facebook page of PTC News, the Punjabi news channel, did a video report and posted it on 1 January 2021. The report carried similar visuals and mentioned that Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia paid obeisance at Golden Temple on 2021 new year's evening.
The Facebook page of Rozana Spokesman, a Punjabi-language daily newspaper, shared the photos and posted them on 1 January 2021. The photos were captioned in the Punjabi language, which reads in English, "Sukhbir Badal, Harsimrat Badal and Bikram Majithia bowed down at the door of spirituality on the occasion of the arrival of the new year".
We also compared the viral images with the images posted by Rojana Spokesman and Shiromani Akali Dal Majitha. Below you can see the comparison.
During our investigation, we also found a tweet by Punjab Youth Congress in which they rubbish the claim. While replying to News24 tweet, they wrote that the viral images are almost one year old. They also posted a screengrab of Rozana Spokesman video report in which the stills similar to viral photos can be seen.
Punjab Deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa while interacting with media, said, "As per my information, Bikram Singh Majithia is not in Punjab. These videos and photos (showing him at Golden temple) are fake. If he is spotted anywhere in Punjab, he will land in jail within a matter of minutes." His statement can be seen below.
It is evident from our investigation the viral images of Bikram Singh Majithia paid obeisance at the Golden Temple on New Year's Eve is from January 2021. A false claim was made by several political parties and Indian media houses by sharing the old picture of him.
If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at email@example.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343.